15 Words Invented By Shakespeare

15 words invented by Shakespeare

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It’s no secret that these 15 words invented by Shakespeare are just a few of the many words and phrases we use in everyday conversation. But did you know just how much he contributed to our language? Think you can name any of his creations off the top of your head? Take a guess! Chances are, if it wasn’t for William Shakespeare, some of today’s most popular expressions would not exist—or at least wouldn’t carry nearly as much meaning.

In this blog post, we’ll take an enlightening look at 15 incredible words invented by The Bard himself and explore why they’ve stood the test of time so successfully. So brush up on your English skills and join us as we delve into this amazing feat from one of literature’s most renowned names!

Word #1 – “Bump”

Shakespeare is known for many literary achievements, but it may surprise you to learn that he was also responsible for inventing several words we still use today. One of these words is “bump,” which Shakespeare coined in his play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” While it’s difficult to imagine English without the word “bump,” it’s interesting to consider Shakespeare’s role in its creation.

As a master of language, Shakespeare was always experimenting with new words and phrases, inspiring future generations of writers to do the same. So the next time you “bump” into someone, give a nod of appreciation to the Bard himself.

15 words invented by Shakespeare

Word #2 – “Lonely” 

Did you know that the word “lonely” was actually invented by William Shakespeare? That’s right, the great bard not only created some of the most iconic plays in history but also contributed significantly to the English language. In fact, it’s estimated that Shakespeare invented over 1,700 words that we use today.

“Lonely” may seem like a simple word, but it perfectly captures the feeling of being isolated or disconnected from others. It just goes to show that even a single word can have a powerful impact on our understanding of the world around us.

Word #3 – “Criticize”

William Shakespeare is known for being one of the greatest writers in history, but did you know that he also coined several words that we use today? One of these words is “criticize,” which first appeared in his play Love’s Labour’s Lost. Shakespeare created the word by combining the Greek words “kritikos,” meaning able to judge, and “krinein,” meaning to judge.

Today, criticize is a common word used in everyday language to express disapproval or make a negative assessment of something. It just goes to show the lasting impact that Shakespeare has had on the English language.

Word #4 – “Dwindle” 

Shakespeare, the renowned English playwright, is not only known for his captivating plays and sonnets but also for his extensive contribution to the English language. One of his many remarkable contributions is the word “dwindle.” This word is believed to have been first used in his play “Henry IV, Part 1.”

Over the years, it has become a common word in the English language, used to describe the slow and steady decrease in size or quantity. Shakespeare’s contribution to the English language is immeasurable, and it is fascinating to think that we continue to use his invented words in our everyday conversations.

Word #5 – “Swagger”

Shakespeare is often noted for his contributions to the English language, and one of his most lasting legacies is the collection of words that he invented. One such term is “swagger,” which made its first appearance in his play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” While we now associate the word with an arrogant or boastful demeanor, in Shakespeare’s time it simply meant to strut or boast.

Regardless of its original meaning, there’s no denying that “swagger” has firmly cemented itself in our vocabulary, and continues to be used to describe those who exude confidence and self-assurance. Shakespeare may have left us over 400 years ago, but his impact on our language and culture can still be felt today.

Word #6 – “Assassination”

Assassination, one of the many words coined by William Shakespeare, has had a profound impact on the English language. The word was first used in the play Macbeth, where it referred to the murder of King Duncan. Since then, assassination has become a commonly used term, particularly in political contexts.

Its origins can be traced back to the Latin word “assassinare,” which meant “to murder,” and it was not widely used in English before Shakespeare popularized it. The word has a particularly sinister connotation, suggesting a premeditated and deliberate act that is often carried out for political or ideological reasons.

Despite its dark connotations, the assassination remains a fascinating topic that has captured the imagination of people for centuries.

Word #7 – “Bedazzled”

When it comes to the English language, few people have had a greater impact than William Shakespeare. His plays and sonnets are still studied and performed to this day, but Shakespeare’s influence isn’t limited to his literary works. In fact, he’s responsible for adding numerous writer could have such a lasting impact on the English language.

Word #8 – “Bandit”

Did you know that the word “bandit” was one of the 15 words invented by Shakespeare? It comes from the Italian word “bandito,” meaning an outlaw or banished person. Shakespeare first used the word in his play “Timon of Athens,” and it quickly entered the English vocabulary. The use of this word by Shakespeare demonstrates his creativity and innovation in language, which has had a lasting impact on the English language.

Today, we still use the word “bandit” to describe someone who steals or commits crimes, making it a testament to the influential power of Shakespeare’s words.

Word #9 – “Radiance”   

William Shakespeare, the famous 16th-century English playwright, is known not only for his incredible plays but also for introducing a ton of new words and phrases to the English language. One of these words is “radiance.” In his play “All’s Well That Ends Well,” Shakespeare used the word to describe the glowing appearance of a woman’s face.

Since then, “radiance” has become a popular word used to describe anything that gives off a bright and vibrant aura. From describing a beautiful sunset to the glow of someone’s skin, “radiance” is a versatile word that has stood the test of time. Thanks to Shakespeare’s incredible vocabulary, we have access to a variety of words that help us express ourselves and describe the world around us.

Word #10 – “Frugal”   

Frugal is among the many words that William Shakespeare invented. This word, meaning “sparing or economical with regards to money or food,” dates back to the very first recorded use in 1590 in the play “Titus Andronicus.” Shakespeare was known for his extensive vocabulary and his gift for coining new words. In fact, he is credited with the creation of over 1,700 words that are still used in modern English today.

Many of his words, such as lonely or critical, have become everyday vocabulary. It is astounding to think that the language we use today has been shaped and influenced by the works of Shakespeare, and that his contributions will continue to be appreciated for generations to come.

Word #11 – “Gloomy”   

William Shakespeare, one of the greatest playwrights in the English language, invented numerous words we use today. One of these words is “gloomy,” meaning a state of melancholy or darkness. This word perfectly captures a mood that we all experience at some point in our lives.

Shakespeare’s gift for language has not only enriched our vocabulary but has also shaped our understanding of emotions. The word “gloomy” evokes a range of feelings and thoughts that can convey the sense of something dark and foreboding. Thanks to Shakespeare, we have a word that we can use to describe one of the most common human experiences.

Word #12 – “Gossiping”   

Gossiping, one of the notable 15 words invented by Shakespeare, dates back to the 16th century. The term was originally meant to describe the act of godparenting, but Shakespeare implemented it to describe the act of spreading rumors. Since then, gossiping has become a cornerstone of communication and human interaction.

Though it may not always have a positive connotation, it is an undeniable fact that people enjoy conversing about other people’s affairs. Whether it is discussing the latest scandal in Hollywood or discussing personal relationships, gossiping has become a way to bond and connect with others.

However, it is important to keep in mind the potential impact of our words and to strive towards kindness and empathy in our conversations.

Word #13 – “Epileptic Fit'”

William Shakespeare is perhaps one of the most well-known writers in English literature, but not many people know that he also invented numerous words that we still use today. One of these words is “epileptic fit”. Shakespeare used this term in King Lear to describe a dramatic and unpredictable seizure.

Today, we use it to describe a sudden and uncontrolled episode of convulsions or spasms that are often associated with epilepsy. It’s fascinating to think that one of the most iconic playwrights in history had such a profound impact on the English language, and it’s a testament to his genius that his words are still being used centuries later.

Word #14 – “Sanctimonious”

Shakespeare is often credited with inventing many words and phrases that are still in use today. One such word is “sanctimonious,” which is used to describe people who are excessively righteous or hypocritically pious. It’s interesting to think about the impact that Shakespeare had on the English language, and how his linguistic innovations continue to shape the way we express ourselves today.

Whether you’re a fan of the Bard’s plays or just someone who loves the English language, it’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer inventiveness and creativity that went into the creation of words like “sanctimonious.”

Word #15 – “Premeditated”

One of the most fascinating aspects of the English language is its vast and complex lexicon. It is a language that is constantly evolving, with new words and phrases being added to the dictionary each year. However, certain words have stood the test of time and have become firmly ingrained in our everyday conversations. One such word is “premeditated,” which was coined by none other than William Shakespeare himself.

This word first appeared in his play, “Hamlet,” and has since become a staple in both legal and everyday language. So whether you’re planning a crime or just plotting your next move, remember that you’re engaging in premeditated behavior – a term that owes its existence to the Bard of Avon.

15 Words Invented By Shakespeare: Understanding its Influence on Modern English

Knowing the 15 words invented by Shakespeare only scratches the surface of his immense impact on the English language. William Shakespeare, often hailed as one of the greatest playwrights in history, didn’t just entertain audiences with his plays and sonnets; he also enriched the English lexicon, coining countless words and phrases that are still in use today.

Shakespeare’s inventive use of language is evident in his creation of words such as “bedazzled,” “swagger,” and “lonely,” among others. These words, introduced through his plays, provided new ways to express complex emotions and concepts, showcasing his linguistic creativity. His ability to blend classical references with the vernacular of his time allowed his works to resonate with a broad audience, from the educated elite to the common folk.

Timeless Phrases and Idiomatic Expressions

Beyond individual words, Shakespeare’s influence extends to phrases and idiomatic expressions that have become integral to English communication. Phrases like “break the ice” (The Taming of the Shrew), “heart of gold” (Henry V), and “wild-goose chase” (Romeo and Juliet) illustrate his knack for vivid imagery and concise expression. These phrases have transcended their original contexts to become part of everyday language, demonstrating the timelessness of his wit and insight.

The English Grammar and Syntax

Shakespeare’s contributions also impacted English grammar and syntax. His flexible approach to word order and his use of rhetorical devices have influenced modern prose and poetry, encouraging writers to experiment with language. Furthermore, his works have been pivotal in standardizing English, as his texts were among the first to be widely printed and disseminated.

The 15 words invented by Shakespeare represent just a fraction of his linguistic legacy. His innovative use of language not only enriched the vocabulary of his time but also left an indelible mark on modern English, shaping how we speak and write today. Through his unparalleled creativity, Shakespeare continues to influence the evolution of the English language centuries after his death.


Shakespeare’s influence on the English language is undeniable. In this article, we looked at fifteen of the words he invented that are still widely used today. From “bump” to “premeditated,” these words have become part and parcel of our everyday conversations, making us feel more connected to the history and power of the English language.

It is a testament to Shakespeare’s genius as an author and his impactful legacy that so many centuries later, his works continue to shape our understanding not just of literature but also of how we communicate with one another.


How did Shakespeare invent these words?

Shakespeare is credited for inventing these words as he used them in his plays and poems. He was a master of the English language, which allowed him to create new words by combining existing ones or coming up with completely new phrases and meanings.

What impact did these words have?

These words had a huge impact on the evolution of the English language. They are now part of common usage and are recognized around the world. They serve as testament to Shakespeare’s creativity and genius, as well as his enduring legacy in the English language.

Why should we be aware of these words?

By being aware of these fifteen words that were invented by Shakespeare, we gain an appreciation for how powerful and influential his works were during his lifetime and continue to be today. Knowing these words makes us feel more connected to the history of the English language, as well as its vastness and power.

What are some other words that Shakespeare invented?

Some other words invented by Shakespeare include: “amazement,” “birthplace,” “eyeball,” “radiant,” “unreal,” “frugal,” and “lonely.” All of these words have become part of daily vocabulary due to their widespread use in ordinary speech. We can thank Shakespeare for his immense contribution to the English language with these powerful and timeless words.

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